Is Excessive Protein Bad for Your Health?

Is Excessive Protein Bad for Your Health?

The supposed dangers of protein are a favorite topic.

Others point out that a very high protein intake is able to reduce calcium in bones, cause osteoporosis or perhaps even destroy the kidneys of yours.

This post takes a look at whether there’s some evidence to support these claims.

The Importance of Protein

Is Excessive Protein Bad for You

Share on Pinterest Proteins are the building blocks of life and every living cell uses them for both functional and structural purposes.

They’re long chains of amino acids linked together love beads on a string, then folded into complex shapes.

There are nine essential amino acids you need to get through the diet plan of yours, and twelve that are non essential, which the body of yours is able to produce from other organic molecules.

The quality of a protein source depends on its amino acid profile. The very best dietary sources of protein contain all essential amino acids in ratios appropriate for humans.

In this regard, animal proteins are better compared to plant proteins. Given that the muscle tissues of animals are much like those of humans, this makes perfect sense.

The standard recommendations for protein intake are 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0.8 grams per kg) daily. This translates to fifty six grams of protein for a 154 pound (70 kg) individual (1Trusted Source).

This meager intake may be sufficient to prevent downright protein deficiency. Nevertheless, many scientists believe it is not adequate to optimize health and body composition.

Those who are physically active and lift weights require a much more than that. Evidence also shows that more mature people may benefit from a higher protein intake (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

For detailed info on just how much protein you need to get each day, check out this article.


Protein is an important macronutrient. Although the recommended daily intake could be sufficient to avoid deficiency, some scientists believe it is not enough to optimize health and body composition.

Proteins Doesn’t Cause Osteoporosis

A number of people think that a very high protein intake is able to contribute to osteoporosis.

The principle is the fact that protein increases the acid load of the body of yours, which in turn causes the body to take calcium out of the bones to neutralize the acid (4Trusted Source).

Although you have several studies showing increased short term calcium excretion, this effect doesn’t persist over the long run (5Trusted Source).

In reality, longer term studies don’t support this idea. In one 9 week study, replacing carbohydrates with meat didn’t affect calcium excretion and improved some hormones known to promote bone health, like IGF 1 (6Trusted Source).

A review published in 2017 concluded that increased protein intake doesn’t damage the bones. If anything, the evidence pointed to a higher protein intake improving bone health (7Trusted Source).

Several additional studies indicate that a higher protein intake is a great point with regards to the bone health of yours.

For instance, it can improve the bone density of yours and reduced the risk of fractures. Additionally, it increases Lean and igf-1 mass, both known to promote bone health (8Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

You can find loads of other potentially helpful nutritional strategies. In the event that you would like to read more, check out this article on ten natural ways to build healthy bones.


Long-term scientific studies show that a very high protein intake may improve the bone health of yours. It doesn’t result in osteoporosis.

Protein Kidney and Intake Damage The kidneys are remarkable organs that filter waste compounds, excess nutrients and liquids out of the bloodstream, producing urine.

Others point out that your kidneys have to strive to clear the metabolites of protein from the body of yours, leading to increased stress on the kidneys.

Including some more protein to the diet of yours could increase the workload of theirs just a little, but this increase is quite minor compared to the enormous amount of work your kidneys already do.

About twenty % of the blood your heart pumps through your body goes to the kidneys. In an adult, the kidneys may filter around forty eight gallons (180 liters) of blood every day.

High protein intake may cause harm in folks with diagnosed kidney disease, but similar does not pertain to individuals with healthy kidneys (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

The 2 primary risk factors for kidney failure are hypertension (hypertension) and diabetes. A higher protein intake benefits both (15Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

To conclude, there’s simply no evidence that a very high protein intake harms kidney function in individuals who do not have kidney disease.

On the contrary, it’s lots of health advantages and might enable you to shed weight (19Trusted Source).


A higher protein intake has been found to accelerate kidney damage in folks with kidney disease. Nevertheless, higher protein diets do not negatively affect kidney function in individuals that are healthy.

Eating Plenty of Protein Is actually a positive thing You will find benefits that are numerous linked to a very high protein intake.

Muscle mass: Adequate amounts of protein have an optimistic impact on muscle mass and are important to prevent muscle loss on a calorie restricted diet (20Trusted Source).

Energy expenditure: Studies show that protein increases energy expenditure more than every other macronutrient (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).

Satiety: Protein keeps you full longer. Increased protein intake is able to result in a decreased calorie consumption and weight loss (23Trusted Source).

Lower risk of obesity: Replacing fat and carbs with protein may protect you against obesity (24Trusted Source).

Overall, a higher protein intake is good for the health of yours, particularly for maintaining losing weight and also muscle mass.


You will find advantages that are numerous to a higher protein intake, for example weight loss, increased lean mass and a reduced risk of obesity.

Just how much Protein Is just too Much?

The human body is in a constant state of flux, always breaking down and rebuilding a tissues.

Under specific circumstances, the need of ours for protein is able to increase. This includes periods of sickness and increased physical activity.

We have to take in adequate protein for these processes to happen.

Nevertheless, in case we consume much more than we need, the extra protein will be broken down as well as used for energy.

Although a somewhat high protein intake is safe and healthy, eating massive quantities of protein is artificial and may cause harm. Traditional populations got the majority of the calories of theirs from carbs or fat, not protein.

Just exactly how much protein is dangerous is likely and unclear varies between individuals.

A study in healthy, strength training males showed that eating around 1.4 grams per pound of body weight (three grams per kg) each day for 12 months did not have some negative health effects (12Trusted Source).

Even eating two grams of protein per pound of body weight (4.4 grams per kg) for two months didn’t seem to result in some side effects (25Trusted Source).

But remember that physically active folks, particularly strength athletes or perhaps bodybuilders, need much more protein than less active individuals.


Very high protein intake is bad. It’s not clear at what intake level protein becomes harmful. It probably depends on the person.

The Bottom Line

At the conclusion of the day, there’s simply no evidence that eating protein in fairly high amounts causes harm in individuals that are healthy. On the contrary, plenty of evidence suggests benefits.

Nevertheless, in case you’ve kidney disease, you must stick to your doctor’s advice and limit the protein intake of yours.

But for the vast majority of folks, there’s no reason at all to be worried about the actual number of grams of protein in the eating habits of yours.

When you stick to a healthy diet which has a lot of meat, fish, dairy or perhaps high protein plant foods, the protein intake of yours needs to be in a healthy and safe range.